Disclaimer: We don't own anything of the Lying Game, but Sara Shepard is more than welcome to use our ideas.
A/N: This is two cousins writing together; we both have separate accounts (Nutmorgan123 and Jesoraptor) but we've been writing stories together for as long as either of us can remember, so we though we'd put that to use. Both us are avid fans and readers of this series, and had a two-hour phone conversation about who we thought the killer was; we thought it would make an interesting story plot, so here we are. This is rated T just in case, and takes place right after the end of book 3, so there are spoilers. Anyway, enough of the long author's note; enjoy the story! We'd really appreciate reviews! Oh, by the way, this story is told from Emma's POV.
Chapter 1: If Looks Could Kill…
Laurel's glare was like a death ray, her eyes boring directly into mine and making my blood turn to ice. I could've sworn that in that particular moment, Laurel knew exactly who I was. My heartbeat accelerated and I suddenly realized what a deer caught in headlights must feel like; it took every ounce of effort and strength I had to conceal my immense fear and keep my composure. I couldn't let her see just how terrified I truly was; if I did, I'd become instant prey and I couldn't let that happen. I couldn't let Laurel win.
So I stared back, summoning all of the hatred I felt towards my sister's killer into my gaze. I fixed my mouth into a ruler-straight line, narrowed my eyes into tiny slits, and curved my eyebrows downward; I was intent on not being the first one to look away, and by some miracle, I succeeded. After a couple of minutes, Laurel spun away from the window, yanking the curtains shut behind her. It was only then that I let my guard down and allowed myself to relax. Thayer had disappeared inside a while ago, so other than me, the front porch, yard, and driveway were completely desolate.
I suck in a shaky breath and try to get my bearings; could Laurel really have killed Sutton? There is certainly motive; Laurel's jealousy over Sutton's secret relationship with Thayer was obvious. But was the envy strong enough to drive Laurel to kill her own sister? I'm not quite sure yet; but I intend to find out.
Right as I stand up to go inside, Sutton's iPhone beeps from the depths of my jacket pocket; ONE NEW TEXT, the screen read. It was from Ethan; I can't keep the smile off of my face. If there was anyone capable of bringing some light into my otherwise dark world, it was Ethan. R U OK? Ethan's text read; I haven't the slightest idea how to go about answering this question. My life is so mixed up on so many levels, and while I'd finally begun to grow accustomed to my sister's glamorous, inside life, I am far from okay. And I probably won't be okay until Sutton's killer is officially behind bars.
My life was forever changed and I knew it; my life changed the second I sent Sutton that message. Gaining knowledge of my long-lost twin unavoidably and irreparably altered everything I knew, had ever known, and now there was no going back.
Heaving a deep sigh, I allow my fingers to fly over the phone's keypad, typing out the words I know have to be said. I DON'T KNOW-I MAY BE LIVING WITH A KILLER. Ethan's response came almost instantly. DO YOU REALLY THINK LAUREL KILLED SUTTON?
Again, I hesitated; did I think that? To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure what I thought. MAYBE, I write. YOU SHOULD'VE SEEN THE WAY SHE WAS LOOKING AT ME A COUPLE MINUTES AGO; IF LOOKS COULD KILL…
This time, Ethan's doesn't come as quickly. Not wanting to just sit there doing nothing, I get up and wander aimlessly inside; the house's interior is deathly quiet, with the only sounds being the chirping of crickets and the tinkling of a neighbor's wind chimes coming in through the open kitchen window. The scent of pineapple, my least favorite fruit, permeates the air and there's an apple pie on the cooling rack next to the oven, which is hanging open slightly. I walk over to the fridge and inspect the photos held up by animal-shaped magnets; most of them are typical family snapshots-the Mercers riding donkeys at the Grand Canyon, in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disney Land, dressed in snowsuits and goggles at a Colorado ski lodge. Smiling, happy, and blissfully unaware.
But a certain picture catches my eye-it's in the top right corner, held in place by a hand-painted, rooster-shaped magnet and partially obscured by a photo of Sutton and Laurel in matching pink bikinis and sunglasses, stretched out on towels at a beach somewhere.
I pinch the corner of the mystery photo between my thumb and forefinger and slowly tug it free; as I stare down at the glossy image in my hands, my eyes widen and my jaw drops, a gasp escaping past my lips. It's dated August 30, the day before Sutton's death, and shows Sutton standing in front of the mall's main entrance. She has a big, goofy smile pasted on her face and her left hand placed lazily on her hip; with her right hand, she makes the universal, two-finger peace sign. However, someone has drawn a large red "X" over her face, blocking out most of her features, and given her a devil's tail and horns; to top it all off, there's a long, jagged arrow drawn in the same red marker pointing from Sutton's head to the edge of the picture.
With shaking hands, I flip the photo over and stifle the scream that quickly rises up the back of my throat. It dies on the tip of my tongue, but I can't help but let out a small whimper. In bold, uppercase letters somebody has scrawled the chilling words, "How could I kill you? Let me count the ways…".
A/N: Oooh, a cliffhanger! Sorry for the short chapter; this was like a prologue of sorts-the next one will be much longer. Please, please, please review! If we get 5 reviews, we'll update within the next week. 10 reviews, we'll update in within four days. 15+ reviews and we'll update within the next 2 days! So click that review button!